someplace else


mara's torment is the performance name of rik maclean, a Toronto based musician who has been releasing music since 1997. mara's torment's work is often described as ambient or chill and has earned maclean some small following amongst people that like that sort of thing, often characterized by wearing black turtlenecks, disliking the use of capitals in proper names and having a questionable sense of punctuation. It has been said that the music of mara's torment studies the darker side of the human psyche, creating a tapestry of feeling using the threads of emotions we all share but rarely discuss. To be honest though, that's really just a pretentious way of saying that "rik is a guy that makes music alone in the dark in his bedroom". Yes, both are equally dramatic, but the first statement gives a sense of being enigmatic, and damnit, being enigmatic is cool, right? Right. At least it is amongst the turtleneck crowd…

January 1998 saw the release of the first CD by mara's torment entitled "dreams like mine". Through an aggressive internet marketing campaign, "dreams like mine" earned interest from all over the world, having received radio play throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. In summer 1998 rik began performing live as mara's torment which further increased interest in his work.

The second CD release by mara's torment, "across for show...", released in early 1999, expanded on many of the ideas that rik had addressed in his previous work serving as a testimony to his growth as a musician. Strangely, nobody has ever asked him what the title means, and it's just as well because he wouldn't tell them anyway.

Following "across for show..." rik released his third CD "the barrier of skin" in early 2000. A collection of songs inspired by the boundaries we put around ourselves both physically and mentally, "the barrier of skin" proved to be a very personal, very heartfelt work that received many positive reviews from around the world.

In the years since then, mara's torment has released a number of independent discs and has performed at such prestigious events as the AMBiENT PiNG, Convergence 8 in Montréal, and has made annual appearances at Darkrave in Toronto. There have also been a number of collaborations with such talents as Scott M2, Sara Ayers, Geoff Nostrant, Paul Angelosanto, Jamie Todd, Chris Alexander, and Nandanee Zeall, as well as the brilliant and talented MannequiN+.

2004 saw the release of a glitch based side-project, metro starman, an exercise in dadaist music creation. The first release by metro starman, "the day i discovered my dog was really a fish..." was featured as part of the Piehead Records 2004 subscription series and received airplay on a variety of university radio stations and on CBC Radio's Brave New Waves.

2006 sees maclean at work on the ambitious "calender project" where he hopes to release an hours worth of exclusive material each month for a year (at the time of this writing ten months have been successfully completed). In addition, work continues on the double disc "cause and effect" with hopes of it being finished by fall of this year, along with a remastered and reworked version of the "lost" disc "the last night is the hardest".